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By Deegeetee | Tuesday, January 08, 2013, 23:58

The Somerset Rebels Promotion will be hoping that it is a case of 'second time lucky' as they look to stage their Salt Express sponsored Christmas Cracker meeting next Friday (18th), the original staging of the event falling foul of the torrential rain that hit the West Country over the Christmas period, but as meeting co-ordinator Garry May explains, it has not been a straightforward task in arranging the line-up;

"Obviously it would have been great if all of the original 16 riders were able to ride in next Friday's re-staging of the meeting, but that just wasn't to be as work and other commitments for some of the original field meant that we had to find some replacements, which was no easy task, but after making what seemed to be a never-ending number of phone calls and sending countless text messages, we have now completed the field and it is all systems go for the 18th."

One of those new riders in the revised line-up is someone who is well known to fans at the Oaktree Arena, having not only ridden for the Rebels, but will also forever be a part of the club's history in that he was a member of the quartet that won the Premier League Fours in 2005, Somerset's first ever trophy at Premier League level, namely Ritchie Hawkins.

"Ritchie took a break from racing partway through last year, but is now fully refreshed and may be looking to get a ride somewhere this year, and saw the Cracker meeting as a way of possibly putting himself in the shop window." May continued, "If not for the start of the season, then should a team place become available later on in the year."

The original staging of the meeting was due to have a number of other attractions in addition to the meeting itself, but as May points out, it is the intention that the vast majority of these will still be a part of next week's re-staging;

"We will be opening the turnstiles at 5.30pm, with tapes up on heat 1 of the Cracker at 7.30pm, the rider parade taking place 20 minutes prior to that, the meeting still being over 20 heats with the top 4 scorers lining up in the Grand Final."

"The 'Men In Black' were due to have their vintage bike races during the natural breaks in the main meeting when a rider had two rides on the trot, and that will continue to be the case in next week's re-staging, but while unfortunately we will not be having the collector's fayre, we still hope to have the start-line simulator there on the night for fans to have a try out on."

"An added attraction is that we are hoping to extend the pit-bike racing into a full 'demonstration' event prior to the main meeting getting underway, probably at around 6.30pm with them running something like 8 races or so, but because of that, the pits will be closed to the public from 6.20pm."

"At the time of speaking there are just one or two 'loose ends' to tie up regarding these other events and so I would suggest that fans check the Somerset Rebels website for full confirmation in the days leading up to the meeting."

The revised Salt Express Christmas Cracker Line-Up: Ricky Ashworth, Ben Barker, Lewis Bridger, Ryan Fisher, Richard Hall, Ritchie Hawkins, David Howe, Lewis Kerr, Simon Lambert, Ashley Morris, Kyle Newman, Lewis Rose, Jacob Thorssell, Steve Worrall, Charles Wright, James Wright, Brendan Johnson (res)

Press Release by Ian Belcher

Somerset Rebels Press Officer


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